What's your breaking point? The latest poll on gas...

A colleague of mine sent me an interesting press release today, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for Access America Travel Insurance and Assistance. It probably won't surprise anyone, but it's still interesting.

They asked a bunch of people (1,000 people, 18 and older, across America) about their driving habits, and when their driving habits changed, or when they expect they'll change, based on the dollar signs at the gas pump.

Their findings?

Of the people who have already changed their driving habits, you'll find it most prominently among adults with a household income of less than $50,000 a year (73%), parents of children under 18 (72%), those living in the South (72%) and those saying the country is headed on the wrong track (71%).

More Southerners seem to be carpooling (12%) and Northeasterners (7%) are most likely to bring up using public transportation as their first solution for combating higher gas prices.

And then they have some interesting numbers.

  • 67 percent of the people said that they had already changed their driving habits
  • Of those who changed, the price point that got them putting on their brakes -- $3.20 per gallon
  • At $3 per gallon, 35% of Americans had changed their habits
  • At $4 per gallon, which is the case already in many pockets of the country, it will be 74%
  • At $5 per gallon, 85% of all Americans will have changed their driving habits.
  • At $6 per gallon, 100% of Americans expect we'll be either be riding on horseback or living in a post-apocalyptic Mad Max world.
OK, I made that last one up. But I have a feeling my statistic is not too far from the truth.

Geoff Williams is a business journalist and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).
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